Artist Marcus Clarke's
He's British and Canadian
An art movement originally inspired by Jim Henson's NBC Pipes
Marcus's main interests: Stories, character, memory, childhood and belief.
Marcus's imbues objects and images with some of the qualities of a Puppet
and then turns them into Keepsakes, Objet d'Art, Shrines, Reliquaries and Memorials.
Marcus Clarke has a new Art Exhibition touring from January 2017 - Called: RSM Sheringham - Refreshing Seaside Memories.
Click the image below for more information about that.
Marcus Clarke is primarily known as a Puppeteer for Children's Television, he is Bookaboo in the Multi BAFTA and other award winning Amazon Studio's and CBC Canada Kids TV Series, Bookaboo.
He is also a Puppet Maker and his partnership company, Hands Up Puppets made the UK Channel 5's Milkshake Monkey Puppet and RTE's Ogri Puppet, which featured on Irelands National Postage Stamp. His work from Little Shop of Horrors, The Storyteller, Dappledown Farm to Milkshake Monkey has been on our screens for over 25 years.
Right Beautiful Quantum Theory and left, Good Wishes.
Marcus though went to Art School as a Teenager to become an Exhibiting Fine Artist and in 2010 he decided to get himself back on this Fine Art path. Instead of abandoning all that he had learned in Puppetry, TV and Film though, he decided to incorporate it into his new Art output and began combining his current Conceptual and Abstract ideas with those from his early art student works. Here he had interplayed objects and images, painting on scrap Car parts for example and with reflexion and refraction by painting on acrylic glass, Perspex, Plexiglass and mirrors. With this combination of current thinking, early inspiration, later learned craft making skills, performance ability and perceptive intuition or Emotional Intelligence Marcus created a series of building based works from the 2011 British Art Show 7, taking the opportunity to bundle his new artworks and himself as a re-emerging Fine Artist into an Art movement, one that he called PuppetTVGraffiti. He then dedicated it and himself to what he called the Puppetising of objects and images. Imbuing them with some of the qualities of a Puppet. Primarily irreverence and the illusion of life. This gave his new direction or transformation into an exhibiting Fine Artist form and identity. A title.
(Left Norfolk Cottage)
His latest PuppetTVGraffiti works also build naturally on those of his mentor and former Puppetry Teacher Jim Henson of the Muppets fame and on his early 1960's works including the NBC Pipes of '64. Something fellow Puppeteer Frank Oz (Miss Piggy and Yoda) who Directed Marcus in Little Shop of Horrors described as "affectionate anarchy". Combining Puppetry Arts with Conceptual and Abstract Art now seems perfectly natural to Marcus though he has continued to grow his practice and it has changed. He recently added Antique Jewellery and Found Objects as materials and began incorporating his interest in the power of Reliquary, Symbolism and Belief to explore what essentially he always has, where character or life visually begins. Characters, stylised or abstract figures, perhaps just a single eye are often placed by him in a wider image context to describe stories. He utilises text and personal commentary, sometimes just a title, sometimes a whole story outline to help make the entire resulting work become a unique journey of discovery. Thought provoking. Marcus's use of Gemstones, Baubles, Jewelry and Gold helps to turn the works into something that also looks precious, Treasured. He's called this process New Art Enshrinement or Treasuring. "these latest works owe something to the tradition of Derbyshire Well Dressing. I also try to replicate in them the aged, unkempt, slightly disheveled but curious and quirky look of a medieval relic. Whats that bit? Hence in the detail there's the odd stray hair or cobweb string, dry cracked card or water stain," (Marcus Clarke). When completed the artwork is put into an extremely high quality Swiss made polythene bag which stretches over every prominence, adding polish and giving the entire artwork a shiny finish. "During Vacuum Sealing the artwork convulses as the last air is removed, as if it is coming to life. I let go and it hangs precariously in an almost catatonic state, a coma, a trance, waiting, keeping still in fear of puncture. Fragile yet beautiful like fine Porcelain. The moment is frozen and it is all sealed together, captured forever in a quasi Amniotic sac. It stairs out, urging the viewer to bring it to life. To imagine its Story." (Marcus Clarke). His latest projects using this process include, The Treasured Seaside, The Treasured Forest and The Treasured Christmas.
Marcus's Artworks are waterproof and can be hung using cord and pegs, by a bulldog clip or blue tacked. You can't hole, pin or pierce them though as they're vacuum sealed all together and will gasp their last breath if you do. "I've accidentally punctured one and its heartbreaking". (Marcus Clarke)
They can also be conventionally framed if desired too. "I like my art works to be practical, accessible and functional as Wall Art". For people to enjoy them. Right. Hearty Greetings.
It's fair to say that though Marcus makes a lot of effort to try to rationalise and explain his work. To make sense of it and why he does it, privately he'll admit that really, he still doesn't truly know.
Marcus has had three Solo Puppetised, PuppetTVGraffiti exhibitions funded by Arts Council England the latest being in Feb 2015 at the Floor 1 Gallery and called the DogHorse Coat and works from it are on sale at artgallery.co.uk His previous exhibition was called 'Homeless in the Puppetised City' about a homeless Puppet walking the streets of Nottingham and imagining buildings as Puppets. Works from that Exhibition are also on sale there.
Marcus has a major new project, incorporating an Art Exhibition and a Tour of it for 2016/17 This latest exhibition is called RSM Sheringham (information above) and it will Tour Galleries in Nottingham, Norfolk and Canada. Hopefully Los Angeles too.
(Left) 'Reading into it' Shortlisted for NOA 2014.
Marcus successfully experimented with a strand of work called 'Art Writing'. He has been BAFTA nominated for his short form composition and script editing work. Now he either incorporates this text, dialogue, conversation into the artworks themselves or into the label element of them.
(above left) Space Dog from The DogHorse Coat Art Exhibition.
|(Oct 2016) I found this signed picture on eBay
and bought it. It's of Crabtree Rabbit (Puppet) who starred
in BBC's Tricky Business Children's TV Programme of 1989 .
It's signed by me, as I was the Puppeteer and voice of this
puppet character and I remember signing this one as the Biro
didn't work, but that's it. We also made this Puppet. When I
thought about it, this signed photo and all those years ago,
I realised that this signed picture was a relic of me and of
that time. A different world of beliefs, emotions, ideas and
ambitions. So I decided to give it the New Art Enshrinement
treatment and here it is. A Treasured Relic I call 'Tricky
Relic'. (Far right)
Having created one relic from an old signed Puppet Photograph of mine I decided to wholly create another from scratch and from the same year, 1989, when I was also the Puppeteer and Voice of Dapple the Horse in TVAM's Dappledown Farm Kids TV Series. A Puppet we also made. Adopting the aspect of the Medieval Mind but utilising modern technology, I found an old photograph, printed it and signed it and then, New Art Enshrined it, as something to revere, to Treasure. I call it 'Dapple Relic'. (I await the Pilgrims).
Marcus Clarke's Original, Unique Artwork is now for sale online at ArtGallery.co.uk and includes Greetings and Seasonal themed Keepsake style works.
Experiments with Nature and Vacuum forming,
The Treasure Tree, The Dancing Tree, Heart Nose Tree and Crown Tree.
2015 Puppetised Postcards experiments.
2015 Puppetised Postcards project (above) adds to Marcus's Puppetisation practice ideas and techniques drawn from traditional Reliquary and Well Dressing, utilising modern Vacuum Sealing technology to suggest a frozen moment in time. Memory.
In 2014 Marcus had a major exhibition called Homeless in the Puppetised City in Nottingham which was restaged at The Floor 1, Exhibition Space, Nottingham City Central Library and over the whole of February 2015.
It included old and new works created under the banner, The DogHorse Coat giving the Exhibition its title. Upper right DogHorse Coat is titled 'Space Dogs'.
This will be followed up in 2017 with another exhibition of completely new works which will tour Internationally.
2012/13 4 Puppetised Jackets a Fashion Creation/Puppetry Arts project was undertaken to, Create and Exhibit Men's Fashion Jackets. see below
my Love. (Right)
2015 Iconic Portraiture style.
Photo of Helena Smee on Cardboard with Jewellery and Acrylic Gems lastly Vacuum Sealed in Poly Bag and hung by string with wooden clothes line clips.
Marcus uses drawings, photographic images printed on card, canvas and stuff.
Symbolic and iconic objects. Clothing and adds to them using his Puppet Making materials and techniques. Puppet Props and Costumes. Bits and bobs. Found objects and now Jewellery and vacuum sealed items.
Title. Marcus Clarke Self Portrait 4.
Pencil, graphite pen, charcoal on paper with shirt, foam, faux fur and sculpted and cast styrene eyeball. Button, hairgrips, feathers and shoelace on Foam Board.
DOGHORSE COAT Exhibition held over February 2015.
At the Floor 1, Exhibition Space, Central Library Nottingham.
Pet Dog Coats are given a Modern yet Medieval and Heraldic twist. With personal commentary.
Above Puppetised Dog Coat is titled
OEillet rouget, longe langue.
See the Exhibition page The DogHorse Coat Art Exhibition
|Homeless in the
Puppetised City a landmark Exhibition, one
man show, in the City of Nottingham held Easter 2014. 12x
new large canvas based Puppetised works of Nottingham City
Buildings are stared at by a lonely homeless Puppet child in
an instillation style exhibition that includes video
composite playouts. There are also accompanying and
complementing family Building image based Puppetising
activity workshops. All very well received and reviewed.
Completed Puppetised works featured in Nottingham Arts Magazine Left Lion in the run up to the Exhibition Printed item
Catalogue for iPad Free eBook
|Homeless in the Puppetised
An accompanying family building Puppetisation workshop developed tested and delivered to excellent evaluation.
|In the Re-Beginning or Early Works.
initially returns to Contemporary Art in 2010 with these
Puppetised works and founds PuppetTVGraffiti.
Some British Art Show 7 Venues for 2011 are Puppetised.
The front Cover of June/July 2011 Nottingham Culture Magazine 'LeftLion' Created by Marcus Clarke. (far right)
Nottingham Post Feb 2015 DogHorse Coat Art Exhibition Feature. (right)
Left Lion feb 2015 DogHorse Coat Art Exhibition Feature
Inside is an interview with Marcus Clarke. Interview
LeftLion Shoot Video
Previous LeftLion Article. Previous
InTouch Magazine interview
BBC Articles and Radio Interviews. BBC
Childhood Short Stories page
2015 First Floor Gallery Central Library, Nottingham. The DogHorseCoat Art Exhibition and Homeless in the Puppetised City.
2015 Surface Gallery International Postcard Show. Two works. Naval rule and Poster.
2014 The National Open Art Competition 2014 Shortlisted
2014 Homeless in the Puppetised City Art Exhibition One man show Nottingham. 13x works and Video
2014 Surface Gallery International Postcard Show 1xPostcard Work
2013 Surface Gallery International Postcard Show 1xPostcard Work
2012 FAB Fringe Arts Bath 2012. Mis-in-Formation. 3x works exhibited. Curator Diane Ali
2011 Nottingham Castle Gallery Annual Open 2011 1x Intervention and 1x exhibited work plus Video Film made.
2011 Surface Gallery Nottingham 'Salon des Refuse's' 2x works exhibited.
1977 Mansfield College of Art, now Vision West Notts College. Various.
International Postcard Show
2016 The Ascania to Canada (right)
At the International Postcard Show 2016
"As a child in 1957 I emigrated to Canada from my birthplace in London, England, on this Ship. It was absolutely full of Hungarian Refugees from the Uprising. Many slept out on the open deck."
2015 Two works including, The Naval Rule. (Art Writing).
2014 Right Black Spot. (Art Writing).
2013 Below. Titled, The Surface Gallery Bug.
'Native Marcus Clarke'.
Many Artists have done a
Self Portrait and I wanted to do one too. 2013 I got
out all of my Puppetised Pictures to show a Magazine
Editor. I saw the opportunity to grab a photo of
myself with my Pictures. Helena (below) obliged. More
Marcus works at the deconstructive interface of iconic imagery and innovative artistic practice. He playfully detourns or high jacks or subverts iconic images to give them a different meaning. His work plays with the pieces of given aesthetic images and adds and subtracts visual cues to provide a different horizon of possibilities in the image.
In this way his work moves from the image to the gesture. Following Giorgio Agembem's work on the use of Cinema as creating space to take images to a gestural politics. For example, his representation of the iconic image of Nottingham Council House has been detourned to change the meaning to a playful and humorous deconstructive reading of the role and function of civic buildings generally and Nottingham's identity specifically. His contemporary development shows a significant movement from artistic animation and creation, to an aesthetic of flippant-dadaism, a powerful yet playful project of creative destruction to produce auratic art.
Marcus makes a telling and significant contribution to contemporary aesthetic production and consumption, and makes a significant impact, amongst a variety of stakeholders, with his auratic art. Dr. Adam Barnard. NTU.
As a Visual Artist and Curator I have delved into the work of Marcus Clarke for his interesting perspectives on his works politically, geographically and for his alternative observations. His work is playful but also omits a familiar reasoning. As a fellow resident in Nottingham, it is interesting to see Marcus being involved and speaking for the mass in terms of 'defamiliarization' where one has to disown their prior knowledge to return to it and embrace anew. It is this connection where I engage in his creative development as an evolving artist whose work encompasses the social state with a humorous and nonconforming approach. His energy and pro-activeness consistently offers an unpredictable view of his work. Diana Ali. http://www.dianaali.com/
| 4 Puppetised Jacket's Project page
It's Puppetised Fashion
content copyright Marcus Clarke
SS Norway HMS Barham Puppetised Train 1